How Is Your Foundation?

The other day while waging war against the weeds in my yard, I noticed the dirt was pretty low next to the driveway. In fact, there seemed to be a gap under the driveway, right up against the house. I stuck my hand in there … and felt only air. My house weighing, oh, perhaps Continue »

Holidays with Parents and In-laws: Let It Be Good

You’re into preparation mode-shopping, cooking, invitations, fundraisers, junk mail, Christmas cards, special parties. And this is above and beyond the regular stuff on your plate–sports teams, concerts, work deadlines, homework help. And then there’s the unexpected–a child’s broken leg, another ear infection, a friend in crisis. But for many there’s another source of underlying stress Continue »

De-stressing the Holidays

I’m going to say something radical: Thanksgiving is not about the food. Yes, Thanksgiving is a feast. It’s a time to be thankful for the year’s bounty, and we celebrate that with food. But that is not what the focus should be. Sadly, our world is full of images and messages feeding us the notion Continue »

Being Normal

I received a note from a good friend who is reading the book Susan Yates and I wrote, Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest. She wrote, “Read more of the book last night and am so glad I did. I really drank in the chapter on loneliness. Between ministry and life stages I was so Continue »

Nobody is Exempt

One of my greatest desires is to have a close relationship with my children. Although our relationship is far from perfect, I am thankful that they at least know that they can tell me anything. Much of the time we spend talking about thoughts and temptations they have, sifting through them, and figuring out what Continue »

15 Steps to Take When You Feel Offended

1. Examine your heart. Be sure you are not going to the offender in anger, with an attitude of setting them straight. The goal must be to bring reconciliation, not revenge. 2. Assume the best.  (…or “innocent until proven guilty!) Don’t assume that another person has purposely done something to hurt you. Maybe they are Continue »

Resolving Stepfamily Conflict

Recently during a life coaching session I encountered a stepmom who had a track record of acting negatively toward her adult stepson and his wife. They perceived her as harsh, critical and judgmental. The stepmom admitted that her choices weren’t always wise. However, she proceeded to defend her actions, saying her motives were right and Continue »

Wedding Season Worry

Wedding season has arrived! I just read in a community magazine that, ages and ages ago, June became the traditional month for weddings because people took their annual (as in once per year!) bath in May, so they still smelled pretty good in June. Apparently floral bouquets were added to cover the light odor that Continue »

Mother-in-Law Sagas

I love to tease my mother-in-law Darlyne because the first time my husband John saw me we were at church. I was the 16-year-old cutie sitting in the back row. He was the 20-year-old Marine who was on leave for the weekend and was visiting is family. (John’s father was the pastor.) After church, when Continue »